How to setup a Session and use its data from other classes?

I am trying to do an authentication where I have : session["User"] = User.authenticate(@params["name"], @params["password"])

and the program continues on if the authentication is correct. Now if later on in the session I want to access "User"'s data (using active directory) I try to use:

if session["User"].id == 0    //do something else   //do something else

Now I always get id =0 so i must have set the session wrong or not at all? Here is how i do the authentication:

if session["User"] = User.authenticate(@params["name"], @params["password"])       if session["return_to"]         redirect_to_path(session["return_to"])         session["return_to"] = nil       else         redirect_to :controller => "NewController"       end     else       flash[:error] = 'Invalid user name and/or password.'       redirect_to :action => "index"     end

I try to use session["User"] elsewhere to get data but no good. Can someone help? thanks!

First question is "Does your User.authenticate return a user object to be stored in session?"

From the sparse look we have at the code, that's where I'd be looking first...

No, the User.authenticate does : User.find(first,....) to check for user authentication. How do I return the object? with this way? sorry i am bit new at this.... thanks!

it also seems the ID is 0,1 and apparently in ruby that is true/false class... so after I set the session correctly do I just do :

if session["User"].id == true //do something else //etc... ?